Best Ceiling Fans of 2020

Ceiling fans help you stay cool during the sweltering summer months. Our shopping guide is here to help you find the best ceiling fan to keep you and your family comfortable year-round.

Ceiling Fan Shopping Guide

Nobody wants to spend the warmer months feeling like a half-melted ice cream cone. When the temperature goes up, you do what you can to cool down.

Ceiling fans deliver a nice breeze in the warmer months, helping you feel less hot. They also exude an old-world charm that many people enjoy. What do we think of these appliances? Well, we're big fans!

You face some challenging decisions when selecting a new ceiling fan, from which blade span you need to what type of controls you would prefer. At BestReviews, our mission is to help you navigate these tough decisions so you get the most for your money.

We scour online reviews, consult experts, analyze data, and test products in our dedicated labs—all so we can bring you the most comprehensive reviews and buying guides available. And we never accept free samples or other incentives from manufacturers, because impartiality is one of the most important hallmarks of an honest review.

If you're in the market for a new ceiling fan, we've assembled all the information you need to choose the right one for you. Please see the matrix at the top of this page for three of our favorite ceiling fan models. And if you'd like to learn more about ceiling fans in general, please continue reading this shopping guide.

Unlike air conditioning units, ceiling fans don't physically lower the temperature of a room. However, by moving cold air around the room, they create a breeze-like effect, making it feel cooler than it really is.

Why Buy a Ceiling Fan?

You might be thinking, "This is the 21st century. Why do I need a ceiling fan?" But in fact, the ceiling fan is still a very relevant room fixture.

● First and foremost, a ceiling fan can help you stay cool in hot weather.
● You can save money by running a ceiling fan, as you don't have to set your air conditioning unit to run as cold. In fact, you may be able to forgo AC altogether if it's not sweltering hot outside.
● Ceiling fans are more environmentally friendly than air-conditioning units since they don't use as much energy.
● Oddly enough, ceiling fans can help you warm up in the winter. When set in reverse, they move warm air that gets trapped against the ceiling down to the lower segment of the room.

The first motorized ceiling fan was invented in 1882.

Your Ceiling Fan's Core Parts: Motor and Blade

Ceiling fans aren't highly complicated pieces of machinery. Still, it's nice to know a bit about your ceiling fan's core parts: the motor and blade.

Ceiling Fan Motors

Ceiling fans have either AC or DC motors. If you're interested in energy efficiency, the type of motor your ceiling fan has could be important to you.

Ceiling fans with AC motors are fairly common. They tend to cost less, but if money isn't an important factor in your purchasing decision, they're not necessarily the best option. The reason: Ceiling fans with AC motors consume more energy and create more noise than ceiling fans with DC motors.
Ceiling fans with DC motors consume less energy and have greater torque, so they're more effective overall. These fans are known for their silent operation, and they usually offer more speed settings.

Ceiling Fan Blades

Ceiling fan blades are made of all sorts of materials, from wood to metal to plastic. Blade material has no bearing on how well a ceiling fan performs, so you should choose a material that you find aesthetically pleasing. Contrary to popular belief, the number of blades on a ceiling fan has little to no effect on its performance, either. However, ceiling fans with more blades tend to cost more than ceiling fans with fewer blades. This is presumably due to increased material and construction costs.

Unlike blade material and quantity, a ceiling fan's blade span affects its cooling power. The blade span you need depends on how big your room is.

● Rooms under 75 square feet need a ceiling fan with a blade span of 29 to 36 inches.
● Rooms with 75 to 175 square feet need a ceiling fan with a blade span of 42 to 48 inches.
● Rooms with 175 to 350 square feet need a ceiling fan with a blade span of 52 to 56 inches.
● Rooms over 350 square feet need a ceiling fan with a blade span of 60 inches or larger.


Best Blade Span

To calculate the square footage of your room, multiply the length of the room in feet by the width of the room in feet. This figure will help you select a ceiling fan with the appropriate blade span.

Nice-to-Have Ceiling Fan Features: Lighting

The following features aren't found on all ceiling fans, but they're certainly nice to have. In fact, many affordably priced ceiling fans have all three of these additional features.


Most ceiling fans come with a built-in light either as standard or as an optional extra. This lets you wire your fan into the ceiling where a light fixture already exists.

If you're interested in conserving energy, look for an Energy Star-qualified ceiling fan. This certification shows the unit has undergone rigorous testing to prove it's highly efficient.

Additional Ceiling Fan Features

Reversible Motor
A ceiling fan with a reversible motor can be set to spin in either direction. This versatility provides both cooling and heating benefits.

● Running your ceiling fan blades in a clockwise direction can help warm a room. Because hot air rises, there's often warm air sitting above the blades. Redistribution of that warm air is a welcome benefit in cold weather.
● Running your ceiling fan blades in a counterclockwise motion helps circulate cool air to all parts of the room.

Wall Panel and Remote Controls

Ceiling fan controls can be as basic as a pull cord on the body of the motor or as high-tech as an app that you use to change the speed and direction of the blades. However, the most common types of controls come in the form of wall panels and remote controls.

Using a wall panel or remote control, you can turn your ceiling fan on or off, control its speed, and activate or deactivate its light.

You're likely to pay more for a ceiling fan with a remote control. Before investing in this option, think about whether you really want it. Some people find it is just as easy to flick a switch on the wall.

How Much Should I Spend on a Ceiling Fan?

The market offers ceiling fans to suit a range of budgets. Cheap ceiling fans aren't necessarily of poor quality, but they're certainly more basic. Likewise, spending a large sum of money on a ceiling fan doesn't guarantee the highest quality.

Under $100

You can find some decent ceiling fans in this price range, but as stated above, they will be basic. The blade span may be small, and the fan may operate via a pull cord instead of a wall panel or remote control.

$100 to $200

In this price range, you'll find larger ceiling fans and those that are controlled via a wall panel. Many of these models have built-in lighting as standard.

$200 to $300

For this amount of money, expect to find a selection of ceiling fans with increased performance and greater energy efficiency. You'll also see some extra features, such as remote controllability and the option to reverse the fan's direction.

Over $300

In this price bracket, you'll find some of the best ceiling fans available. Superior performance, good looks, and a wide range of features are the norm here. Some high-end ceiling fans exude a handcrafted charm that helps tie a room together.


Ceiling Fan Placement

When mounting your ceiling fan, place it at least 24 inches from the nearest wall or sloped ceiling. Otherwise, it might produce a "cavitational" phenomenon in which less air is circulated.

Ceiling Fan FAQ

Q. Where in the room should I position my ceiling fan?
A. In many rooms, the best location for a ceiling fan is close to the center of the room. If a room is particularly large, however, you may wish to station the fan above the spot where people tend to sit or gather—even if this isn't the center of the room.

Q. How far from the floor should my ceiling fan hang?
A. A ceiling fan should never hang closer than seven feet to the ground. This is mandated by the National Electric Code. However, if you hang your fan more than eight feet from the ground, it won't be as effective.

If you have especially high ceilings, you may wish to install a drop rod so your fan will sit lower in the room.

Q. How do I install my ceiling fan?
A. Ceiling fans usually need to be wired into your home's electrical circuitry. Unless you happen to be a certified electrician, we recommend you don't install your ceiling fan yourself. Instead, hire a professional to do the job.

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